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The BERC Group EXECUTIVE

SUMMARY 2021

21 st Century Community Learning Center:

Boys and Girls Clubs of Skagit Valley

Cohort 17

YEAR 1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

KERI LEVINSON M.ED.

RONAK PATEL, PH.D.

STACY MEHLBERG, PH.D.

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Executive Summary

Beginning in 2015, the Boys & Girls Club of Skagit County (BGCSC) took over

administration of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21 st CCLC) program

from the Mount Vernon School District (MVSD). The Boys and Girls Club organization

was a long-term partner with the school district and was active in supporting the two

learning centers over the course of the previous grant cycle (2010-2015). The

programming remained consistent under the leadership of the Boys and Girls Club, and

successfully complete their 5-year grant. In 2021, the BGCSC applied for a new 5-year

21 st CCLC grant to provide a continuation of services for the students and families they

have been serving successfully since 2010.

The mission of the BGCSC is to “enable all young people, especially those who need us

most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens” (grant

proposal, 2015). The organization prioritizes three areas: Academic Success, Healthy

Lifestyles, and Good Character and Citizenship. The main goals of the program include

providing services and promoting academic growth for low income and English

Language Learner students within MVSD. The grant proposal states a range of expected

outcomes, including:

• Improved academic performance

• Enriched learning experiences

• Family engagement

The 21 st CCLC grant was written for two sites: LaVenture Middle School (LVMS) and

Mount Baker Middle School (MBMS). During Year 1 the programs joined to meet at

LVMS, while still serving students from both school communities. The Vice President of

the Mount Vernon office of The Boys and Girls Club managed the grant, and two

leadership staff supported four program staff members. Both middle schools are schoolwide

Title I schools with somewhat similar demographics.

During Year 1, the BGCSV 21 st CCLC had an enrollment of 49 students, with 9 students

from private schools, 22 from Mt. Baker and 18 from La Venture. The school district

provided transportation and food for all students, and program ran from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In the morning, breakfast was provided, and students spent the first hour of their time

relaxing and engaging in choice activities. At 9 a.m., program staff would lead Summer

Brain Gain, an academic time designed to combat summer learning loss. Students would

transition to an enrichment activity following their academic time, and then move to

summer reading. Following lunch, the 21 st CCLC partnered with local organizations,

including Planned Parenthood and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services

(DVSAS) to provide SEL programming.

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The BERC Group EXECUTIVE

SUMMARY 2021

These partnerships were an important part of Year 1 programming and provided

opportunities for students to engage in conversations about relevant, topical issues.

Representatives from each organization asked students to share their thinking, and

provided a box for students to ask questions of them in a safe, anonymous way. Partners

came twice a week, and led preventative conversations about expressing emotions,

managing anxiety, and developing coping mechanisms.

In addition to these community partnerships, the 21 st CCLC met weekly with the Mt.

Vernon library to participate in several activities including Mexican Folk Dancing, OZO

Bots, Virtual Reality, and a Japanese Cultural Experience. Students also had the

opportunity to participate in lessons with Animal Encounters, watch a comedian and a

magician, and learn about marine wildlife from representatives of the Padilla Bay reserve.

A complete summer schedule can be found in Appendix A.

Similar to prior years of programming, staffing remained a challenge. One staff member

left half-way through the summer, and the remaining staff were new to 21 st Century

programming. As a result, it was important for staff to build relationships with one

another and develop a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the 21 st CCLC.

Another challenge to implementation during Year 1 was the lack of consistency around

Covid regulations. The site coordinator shared, “I think everything being up in the air was

really stressful and really frustrating because it would keep changing days before we

started program… it was literally like a couple weeks before program started that we

finally found out we were only going to be at one place, that kind of thing was just, it was

frustrating.” She also noted that the lack of choice for students, and the lack of ability to

“mix and mingle” with other students impacted enrollment. Several students began the

summer program, but quickly expressed disappointment that it felt too much like school,

so they did not persist. They also really missed the opportunity to go on field trips, one of

the most impactful components of typical summer programming. One staff member noted

that those opportunities tend to “build a sense of community” and increase enrollment.

One final challenge during Year 1 was the food quality. Although students were given

meals and snacks, the site coordinator shared, “MVSD provided transportation and food,

though the food was horrible. It was so bad we felt terrible giving to the students. Just a

bunch of snacks, and same thing over and over again. Sometimes it was spoiled. It was

the worst I have ever seen.”

During Year 1 it was difficult to collect meaningful data due to the Covid pandemic.

Program was significantly shorter than a typical evaluation cycle, and assessment data

was not collected during the school year. Additionally, the 21 st CCLCs did not collect

survey data, and had limited interactions with family to gather their perspectives. As a

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result, the impact of program was assessed by staff perception and attendance in program.

During future grant years, evaluators will have more access to staff, and will integrate

program collected data with standardized assessments and qualitative data to develop a

more comprehensive picture of program.

For the BGCSV 21 st CCLC, staff expressed pride in their accomplishments, and felt that

students were able to make gains, particularly around social-emotional learning. The site

coordinator shared that their community partners provided extremely successful SEL

curriculum, and students were engaged in conversations and willing to take risks and ask

questions. She noted that the “vibe” of the room was often positive, with kids laughing

and talking with one another in authentic, genuine ways. Students hated the summer

reading, however, they persisted despite their dislike.

Year 1 recommendations are general, due to the unusual nature of the first-year

programming. Once a complete evaluation of Year 2 programming is complete,

evaluators will use data to develop specific recommendations for continuous

improvement.

• Continue to address student behaviors.

• Maintain and Strengthen Connections to the School District.

• Continue to Build capacity for community and family partnerships.

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The BERC Group EXECUTIVE

SUMMARY 2021

The BERC Group, Inc.

22232 - 17 th Ave. SE Suite 305

Bothell, WA 98021

Phone: 425.486.3100

Web: www.bercgroup.com

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